tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS October 6, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
from washington, the mclaughlin group, the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. issue one, crisis or catharsis? >> one faction of one party in one house of congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government. all because they didn't like one law. i have to say, i'm disappointed in the actions of the united states senate this morning by rejecting the bill passed by the house last night. the bill that passed would have funded the government through december. my goodness, they won't even sit down and have a discussion about this. >> for the first time in 17 year, the federal government is
shut down. not completely, but in many significant and sensitive functions. republicans refuse to concede. they want a one-year delay in the obama care quote, unquote, individual mandate to buy health insurance. democrats refuse to concede. they want obama care to be unconditionally funded. the result, 800,000 federal workers are idled and services are suspended. both sides are bracing for a backlash and the blame game is on, so, why no compromise? because of what is at stake. namely, a shift in the balance of political power in 2014 after next year's midterm election. we now have a democratic president, a democratic senate, and a republican house. president obama, a democrat, is refusing to negotiate with house speaker boehner, a republican. because mr. obama thinks voter antishutdown backlash will boost the current democratic majority in the senate next
year. and possibly result in the democratic taking over of the house of representatives. republicans think a one-year delay in the individual mandate will mean healthy individuals will defer buying insurance. and those with preexisting conditions will rush to sign up. this in turn, means higher insurance premiums in 2014 for everybody. winning this battle with this unforgettable shutdown gives the winners an advantage in the 2014 midterm elections. so the shutdown has put us in the middle of a power game. >> question, who will end up taking the rap for the shutdown? or both the houses? >> tell me how barack obama can blame the republican party for shutting down the government of the united states when three times the republicans in the house have voted to fund every department, every agency, and every program of the government except for one. when the house is repeatedly voted, tried to open up the museums, tried to vote for
n.i.h. and all these other things. the democrats are the ones shutting down the government. they are succeeding in the p.r. battle because by 4-3, people blame the republican party here. however, i think obama is being damaged, obviously, moderate republicans are being damaged. i think harry reid is coming off as a very crusty and not so nice old man. but i do think in the whole battle when it ends, i don't think it's about 2014. obama wants to be seen as strong because he was weak on syria and i think he sees a political victory here, breaking the republican party and he has a real chance to do it. >> obama's disapproval rating has risen 2% and approval rating dropped 1%. his job rating stands 44% approved. you don't have to comment on that. but what is your comment on the question? >> nice try, pat, trying to dress up what the republican party is doing. i want to correct something.
the president is not refusing to negotiate because he is trying to ramp up democratic support for 2014, he is refusing to negotiate because the republicans are tieing the dismantelling or the delay of his signature program, a law that has been passed, signed, upheld by the supreme court. you don't do this in the democracy as we have known it. try to rewrite the last election, undermine a law that has already been passed by tieing it to a government shutdown. the politics so far are working very well for the democrats because the republicans have made this all about their extreme and wreckless tactics, not about obama care. speaker boehner is, as we are sitting here today, frantically looking for way out. if ted cruz becomes the face of
the republican party, the republicans will not have majority for the forseeable future. >> we'll separate this out from the election that is about what, less than a year away. and divorce it from there. because politicians don't think in terms of who is going to take over the government or who is going to win the election. they are thinking about president obama, right? >> they don't want a gun to their head, as the president said. he isn't going to negotiate under these terms. >> the republican party was able to excite its base not seen in years in 2009, going into the 2010 midterm elections and the risk they are playing with now is that they could do this again. and they could use, the american voters will forget the nasty politics that have gone on here and remember that the g.o.p. took a principle stand against obama's program. the other thing that is going on right now is that things are developing very quickly with the government shutdown. we opened a can of worms that we don't know where it's going to go. the republican leadership is
probably involved in a bait and switch narrative this week, where they will try to turn this into a discussion how the democrats want to raise the debt ceiling. that won't play well for obama going forward. >> i think both parties are fighting on the edge of a cliff and when you're on the edge of a cliff, the economy says, you don't ask who is right, that's what they are doing, you ask what the heck are we doing at the edge of the cliff? we are in a terribly vulnerable position as an economy and country right now. particularly as an economy. we could plunge the economy into a worse place. it's a plague on both their houses on one level. secondly, what you have is a situation where there's no presidential leadership. if you had reagan or lyndon johnson as president, you would never have had this. reagan used to have democrats in for lunch. he had six of them every time. he had relationships across the table. not only does obama not have relations with the republicans, he doesn't have relations with the democratic leadership.
i can say that -- wait a minute, i can say that from direct contact with the leadership of the democratic party in the house. they are very dismayed. he never helps them, he doesn't know how to deal with them. he doesn't know how to deal with the republicans. >> the democrats were not trying to undermine reagan's tax plan after he won reelection and after it passed both houses of congress. it's a very different tactic on the part of the republicans. >> again and again and again, simply because the fugitive slave act was a law, was it wrong to defund that? >> okay. let me advance -- preparing healthcare for the american people for the fugitive playback. pat buchanan cannot get away with. >> service providers check. what the shutdown means for federal agencies and for you and for me. >> the agency, who goes home? the government says quote
unquote, nonessential workers will be furloughed. half of the pentagon's 800,000 civilian workers will go on furlough. at the epa, the environmental protection agency, 1,069 of the workers stay on the job. at the census bureau, all data collection stops. also small businesses in urgent need of federal loans will have to wait. so will homeowners who want a federal mortgage. national parks, some 368 of them closed. national zoos closed. the smithsonian and other national museums, closed. national monuments, including the famed and very popular lincoln memorial, off limits, closed. who stays on the job? active duty military serving at home and abroad stay on the job. the justice department, most of it is considered a essential, 114,000 staff, 97,000 stay on the job. workers if federal prisons, national security, border protection, hazardous waste removal, food inspection, the
tsa, the trappings security administration, and law enforcement are seen as essential. these workers stay on the job. so do postal workers, the mail gets delivered in the rain or snow. no shutdown for them. social security checks will be delivered. weather forecasters will still forecast, amtrak stays on the rails. who else stays on the job? the u.s. president and u.s. congressman and u.s. senators. the good news, the irs canceled its auditing appointments. the bad news, the irs continues to collect taxes. >> average americans feel a shutdown affects? eleanor clift. >> absolutely. people trying to get into clinical trials, that's been suspended. you have blood drives being canceled because people are furloughed and not there. people are not getting their paychecks. this has lots of ripple effects and not always from people that we hear from. and the republicans have a
cynical approach. trying to pass bills that will reopen yairs of government where they are feeling the heat. the democrats are -- it's not outrageous. you don't get to pick and choose the parts of government that you like. i get to finish a sentence. >> the national institute of health has a cancer treatment program for children and the republicans tried to open it up and harry reid said no. >> the republicans -- >> why would i want to do that? >> he wants to maximize the pain in order to maximize his political gain. that's exactly what obama is doing. it's a sinnister. >> raw and crude politics. >> it really is. >> the parents on the part of the republicans -- >> veteran's memorial, they shut it all up. >> congressman yelling at the interior employee -- the republicans could end this with one vote. all you have to do is fund the entire government. >> this will be addressed to
mort, the u.s. is in shutdown partially, how is that playing overseas? here are some of the headlines. >> argentina shut down, dreaded paralysis in washington. italy, u.s.a., closed for lack of funds. germany, u.s. administration stands still. and take a look at this photo of mount rushmore, walking away from its national park. on the front page of this in belgium, with the caption, washington petrified. >> question, to what extent is this abroad? mort. >> it's having an effect on the prestige and the credibility of the united states. there's no doubt about it. because this is a government that is not functioning. and i have a feeling that this is something that is going to gain to diminish us. i have a greater concern for the fact that it's going to reduce the confidence of a lot of people in the country and
it's going to affect an economy hanging by a thread. i think this is a serious issue if it goes on for much longer. >> it totally needless. >> issue right away. >> there's a way this plays overseas, it adds to the narrative of america in decline. right now, president obama canceled his trip to two regional summits where the chinese president will take center stage over the next two weeks. it's not because obama -- the money is not there this week, but he has such divisive politics in washington that he has to pay attention here. it suggests he's weak going the last three years of his presidency and there's a real time impact of what will happen with the chinese influence over our region. >> exaggerating the impact? >> no, he is exactly right. let me say this, he made excellent point earlier which is look, these things have a short shelf life. remember the battle over gun
control? this is going to last a while and it's going to be over a year before the next election and what happens will depend on whether obama care is seen as a train wreck or seen as a good program. >> that's right. >> you have millions of people signing up and the website -- but they will fix that. this is the program -- because even apple can't fix something like that in one day. >> exit question. excuse me, exit question as things stand now, president obama and senator reid are emphasizing that they won't budge. not an inch, not on the budget, not on the targeted bills the house is sending up, not on negotiating along with the debt ceiling. will that prove to be more bluster than reality? pat buchanan. >> i don't think obama can negotiate now. i think he has to stand firm, because he has a reputation. >> the president has
negotiated. he's not going to negotiate as long as they keep government shutdown and a threat of not raising the debt ceiling on the table. he's not giving in. and i think boehner is looking for a way out as well he should. >> i think we all would like to say there's going to be a negotiation this week, but the bottom line reality is, we don't know for sure. and that's why government -- >> based on your career in junior journalism. >> i believe the shutdown will end. >> i would hope so. i don't know that. i think this week is an optimistic interpretation, but no later than next week because this country is really suffering and suffering at home and the economy is really very, very fragile and this bloat to the confidence in the government is going to have a big affect on the economy and that's a bad thing to happen. >> you are estimating this is going to go into day talk when? >> sometime within the next 10 days. >> i agree with you.
issue two, b.b., don't hold back. tell us what you really think. >> now i know it doesn't sound like ahmadinejad, but when it comes to iran's nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this, alaska a wolf who thinks he can pull the eyes, the wool over the eyes of the international community. isreali prime minister, benjamin netanyahu cannot stomach iran's new president, hassan rohani. he addressed last week, and insisted that iran's nuclear program was peaceful. >> any use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the u.n. charter and in crime against humanity, doctrines justifying
such use are unacceptable. >> the news that president obama himself has spoken to rohani. 15 minutes before he departed for iran. that came as a surprise and ended 34 years of silent between the u.s. and iran. afterwards, president obama described the phone call. >> he indicated that iran will never develop nuclear weapons. i have made clear that we respect the right of the iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of iran meeting its obligations. so the test will be meaningful, transparent actions. >> the president tweeted about the obama call. expressing optimism over u.s. support for iran's peaceful nuclear program. closing his tweet with quote, have a good day, mr. president, unquote. well, this week at the u.n., it was netanyahu's turn to have a
good day. netanyahu style. >> you see, he thinks he can have his yellow cake and eat it too. and he has another reason to believe that he can get away with this. that reason is called north korea. like iran, north korea also said its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. like iran, north korea also offered meaningless concessions and empty promises in return for sanctions relief. >> the prime minister also met with president obama at the white house. on his way to the oval office, mr. netanyahu told reporters he was on a mission to quote, tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and on slot of smiles. he may be a wolf in sheep's clothing as president netanyahu says, should president obama
negotiate? >> john, i think president obama should go forward with trying to negotiate with rouhani. when the world is not paying much attention anymore and gives this forceful speech, so, he is obviously been back burnerred and sidelined in this. what is interesting is, if you read between the lines of what netanyahu said when he was at the white house right after meeting with obama, he suddenly used language where he said israel could live -- >> who said that? >> netanyahu. >> what do you think? >> i don't think it was a breakthrough. >> you tell me, was that a breakthrough? >> is it suggested that israel is in the game and also behind the possibility of negotiations because just to finish,
benjamin netanyahu does not want to speak as wolves or the loan wolf gunning for war with iran right now. >> do you agree with all of that? >> i think it was a major concession. the fear that the isrealis have is once they have nuclear capabilities and developing material, they won't be able to control it to being transferred into a military prison. how do you keep that under the right kinds of constraints? from israel's point of view, it's a question. they literally can be blown away -- look, the iranians are developing rockets, long-term rockets that have only one purpose to carry nuclear warheads. they will have a range to carry them to the united states as well. but at some point, having said that, this is an absolutely question for israel. entire existence -- if they get a nuclear weapon, they launch one -- all they need is one. one rocket that gets launched and at the end of israel.
>> reason why this change of attitude which is fundamental and radical on the part of the iranians exist. they want to sell their oil. they want to sell it. >> excuse me, they can sell their oil without nuclear weapons. it's exactly the opposite. they have more oil than any other country in the world needs. they have plenty of oil to sell. the only reason they are doing it is to not sell oil. >> they have all kinds against. >> i agree. >> then they want to sell it. >> i agree with that. the sanctions are the only thing that is putting pressure on them to put some kind of controls on their nuclear program. >> the fact -- look, there's no doubt that the iranians have the technical ability right now and they have the scientific knowledge. they do not have the capacity to build a bomb. in 2007, 2011, national intelligence of the united states all agencies said with high confidence they have not made a decision to build the bomb. we can get into all those
plants and make sure they have no 90% uranium, not enough 20% uranium. >> you remember -- >> the iaea is there. >> exit question. on a probability scale from .001 to 1000 per hour, with .001 meaning a little more than natural background radiation and 1,000 meaning a nuclear detonation, what is the likelihood we will wake up one morning that iran tested a nuclear bomb? .001 to 1,000? >> i would say no chance in the next 18 months. >> you're going to give me a digit. >> 0 in the next 18 months. >> very low count and the fact that netanyahu is curbing his rhetoric shows obama is in the driver's seat now, which is different from before the president was reelected, when netanyahu thought romney was going to be in the white house. he is really curbing the blunder. >> despite the concession that i was pointing out a minute
ago, helps obama's position. netanyahu gave a great gift to the administration by saying hey, let's sober up. i'm not against negotiating, but let's go into it with negotiation. we come in at here, 500. >> go beyond 18 months, the odds are at least 900 out of 1,000. sooner or later they will develop a bomb. that's what they will continue to do. >> issue three, wall to wall walrus. >> what is that dark stripe? it is walrus. as in wall to wall walrus. all packed together. 10,000 strong. on one beach. these walrus are on a barrier island in alaska, 700 miles northwest of anchorage. why are these walrus packed like sardines? because the ice is melting. ice flows that float on the surface of the arctic ocean are where pacific walrus would normally hang out and hunt and produce baby walrus.
in much smaller groups. but the ice flows are disappearing rapidly. so instead, the walrus are flocking to the beach and whatever ice is left over. after our manmade filthy exhaust and emissions heat up the planet, some believe. those walrus are not packed together because they like it. the slightest trigger like a polar bear suddenly appearing on the prowl. or a low flying plane that can cause deadly stampedes that crush the young, more fragile walrus. >> question, is the fate of the walrus, what we can all look forward to some day? clinging to little bits of land as the water levels rise and drown us all. pat buchanan. >> there's no doubt the arctic icecap has been shrinking. this year, they had a record expansion of it. and people are blaming this on global warming, john, that's one of parts of the agenda. i will say this, look, there's been no global warming for the last 15 years and all the scientists and the rest of them
never predicted. but are there going to be problems as a consequence of what happens? has there been problems? sure. >> eleanor, arctic ice grew from 1.82 million square miles in 2012, a record low to 2.35 million square miles this year. that's a 30% increase in one year. measures were taken by the national snow and ice center in boulder, colorado. now where does that leave the proposition of global warming? >> climate change is well underway and scientists are talking about mitigating it. we aren't going to be able to reverse it and when al gore was in washington and he did his movie, it featured polar bears looking for patches of ice, just like these walrus. and yeah, it is happening and if you are in one of these coastal communities, miami, new york, you can look for a future beyond our lifetime, but those areas of the country are going
to be under water. >> i hope a lot. >> $100 million. >> $100 million. maybe get back into politics. >> i was going to say, it doesn't matter whether you blame al gore or you blame republican climate change. the fact that somehow the science behind climate change has become a political issue is one of the saddest realities of our time. you are going to have trouble lining up scientists, legitimate scientists that would come on this program to argue that it's not real. climate change is here, it's been around, it's been talked about for 20 years. the oceans -- >> talking about the climate change. now they say in their latest report, they admit that the ipc, that some of its computer models may under estimate the greenhouse gas and other
forcing. >> some of the things -- there's no doubt, but there is climate change and has had some affects. maybe the speed of it has been exaggerated and not deliberately, but it's there and we just don't know yet how bad it's going to be or how long it's going to go. >> you live in new york. >> i do. >> is provision being made for this? >> the climate change in new york is unbelievably problematic. you can't walk in central park without having to put on a shirt. >> relative to the rest of the world. new york is a cleaner city. i landed in beijing this past year and within two hours, my nose hairs hurt. >> you understand? >> that's what i told you, john. >> where does that leave the debunking? >> when i was in iowa, i asked why it's so hilly in the north and plains in the south. the ice age, they used to have an arctic icecap across the middle of this country. >> the climate change is about
this week on "moyers & company" -- wendell berry, poet and prophet. >> i've been talking for a long time about leadership from the bottom and i'm convinced perfectly that it's happening and that leadership consists of people who simply see something that needs to be done and they start doing it. >> and -- showdown over the shutdown. >> announcer: funding is provided by -- carnegie corporation of new york, celebrating 100 years of philanthropy, and committed to doing real and permanent good in the world. the kohlberg foundation. independent production fund, with support from the partridge foundation, a john and polly guth charitable fund. the clements foundation. park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. the herb alpert foundation,